By Keri Stafford/The Mother List
Have you ever noticed that there are some moms who keep their cool no matter what? It’s perfectly OK to get frazzled when your toddler has a meltdown in the middle of the supermarket – we’ve all been there. But some moms manage to take it all in stride, even when their little darlings redecorate the kitchen walls with bright red permanent marker. What’s their secret? Here are some common traits we’ve found among those happy mamas:
1. They have a sense of humor. Whether it’s making a silly face, telling a funny joke or doing a little dance, there is no greater pleasure than making your kids laugh. Life is short, find the humor.
2. They are willing to be messy. A clean house doesn’t necessarily represent a happy house. Fingerprints on the fridge, crumbs on the counter and toothpaste on the mirror means there are happy kids in the house that mom is spending time with. Cleaning can wait, the mess isn’t going anywhere — but your kids are growing up fast. At some point, you are going to be peed on, pooped on, or thrown up on. As gross as that is, happy moms know it’s just part of the job. Anything can be washed — and we move on.
3. They try to keep it simple. We want our kids to eat a big, healthy breakfast so their brains will be in good working order at school, but who has time for that? Sometimes we can barely get out the door on time with matching shoes. Throw some fruit and yogurt in a blender to make smoothies. Healthy breakfast on the go — that’s keeping it simple.
4. They cherish their friends. It really does take a village to raise kids. Our friends are important members of that village. Whether they live near or far, they are our trusted advisors. Moms know life would not be the same without them.
5. They make “me time” a priority. Taking time away from the kids to focus on yourself is crucial. Whether it’s a night out with the girls or a bubble bath with a magazine. Carve out time just for you. You need it, and you’ll be a better mom for doing it.
6. They teach independence. This doesn’t mean letting the kids run amok. But they can certainly tie their own shoes, pick up their toys and even fold their laundry. It may not be done perfectly, but they are learning self reliance (and helping around the house to boot!).
7. They live in the moment. In parenting, the days are long, but the years fly by. The moments are what count. Yes, there are certain things that need to be accomplished each day, but when your kiddo asks you to read his favorite book just as you were planning on emptying the dishwasher. Seize the moment, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy! The dishes can wait.
8. They pick their battles. Don’t sweat the small stuff. There are definitely some things that are not negotiable, like wearing a seat belt in the car or brushing teeth before bed. But if your kiddo wants to wear his Halloween costume to the grocery store, that could be some good comic relief.
9. They trust their gut. You listen to your pediatrician, you’ve read the parenting books, you’ve consulted with your mom friends, but above all your mothering instincts are your guide. You are the expert on your kids.
10. They don’t pay attention to what others think. If your kid is screaming all throughout Target about a toy that you won’t buy him and you are getting disapproving glances from other shoppers, stick to your guns. You are in the midst of teaching your child a lesson — that is what’s important. The onlookers will forget about you the minute they turn down the next isle.
Photo by: Ben Earwicker; Garrison Photography, Boise, ID; www.garrisonphoto.org